(DE-FI)'s Owner/Director Caressa Brown shares the story of the inspiration behind the work of the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC and how it led to the need for The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Coworking Experience. Are you ready for the next level?
The Disruption began with our rule breaking parent company the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC, who coined the term "The Fashion Experience" back in 2013. Affectionately known as (DE-FI) pronounced "defy", this volunteer based organization is one of the City of Dayton's best kept secrets that has been hiding in plain site for nearly a decade. By taking advantage of Dayton's close proximity to Cincinnati where Macy's had headquarters, Columbus where L Brands was headquartered and who is ranked 3rd in the country behind NYC and LA for the most fashion designers in the country, and Cleveland where Hugo Boss was once manufactured. (DE-FI) built a reputation for their in your face boldness, (DE-FI)ance of the status quo, and barrier removing support for aspiring fashion and design professionals from around the country.
After years of planning, they are once again ready to live up to their mold creating and mold breaking work. We've been saying it since we launched, the goal isn't to re-create the wheel, we're simply changing how the wheel is used and ultimately produces. In 2017, (DE-FI) announced a shift in programming and plans for a fashion co-working space during the Grand Finale of (DE-FI) Fashion Week. In 2018, they went through a rigorous 8 month update of their strategic plan, and in the Fall of 2018 they announced he final details of their plans for a co-working space at their Open House during A Weekend of (DE-FI)ance. In the Fall of 2019, (DE-FI) led a series of public planning session for this space and gave the public a chance to chime in on the space. In the Fall of 2020, after 3 years of planning...our House became a reality.
When (DE-FI) first launched, they were told that fashion and design have no place in Dayton and that people here don't "look" like that or "dress" like that. Since 2013, (DE-FI) has worked to prove them wrong by not only promoting the talent in our city, they've also attracted talent from around the country that has traveled to Dayton to gain first hand knowledge and experience in the fashion industry. (DE-FI) also has an international following making them one of the most influential fashion organizations in the U.S. causing a shift in how regional fashion organizations in the Midwest operate that has rippled around the world. As a result of the community focused work of (DE-FI), the Gem City is ready to shine as the Fashion Capital of the Midwest. Did we mention that the fashion industry is a $900 billion dollar a year industry? Rise up, it's time to get your piece of the pie!
Our mission is to enrich the Dayton, Miami Valley, and Midwest regions through the business of fashion and design via economic growth, the strengthening of our garment district, education, community outreach, and fashion and design retail opportunities. The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experience is a combination of professional and educational opportunities promoting community, competition, collaboration and connection. We are an innovative and groundbreaking one stop Fablab created to help you establish, develop, and grow your brand.
Our Affordable memberships levels come equipped with additional benefits, including access to exclusive operating hours and events. Join today!
Boldly Re-imagine Dayton by doing everything that "they" said couldn't be done here.
Are you ready to become a part of one of the newest economic engines in Dayton and reap the benefits? Have you been dreaming of a career in fashion or design and don't know where to start? Have you already started your brand and just need to build your team? Do you already have a team and just need a space to meet clients or sell your work? Or are you facing one of a hundred other reasons and barriers "would be" fashion and design professionals fail to pursue their dreams? Are you ready to (DE-FI) all odds and be a little disruptive in the process? Then you've come to the right place, welcome to our House...The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experience. Become a MEMBER today!
The House of (DE-FI)ance is home of the world's first comprehensive interdisciplinary Fashion Co-working space, a business hub created by and for the fashion and design community. Our vision is to create the leading and most effective business networking experience in the country for the fashion and design community. From concept to retail and everything in between; our House was created to bring the entire fashion Industry under one roof including the often understated role of design outside of worn garments.
A subsidiary of the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC, our House represents the 3rd level of the (DE-FI) Incubator and revises and broadens the mission of our parent company by developing new and consistent programming that reflects the next level of growth and service needed for local and regional fashion, design, textile, retail, and creative communities. This members only, semi-public collaborative space is for avid professionals and the occasional hobbyist has what you need to create with exclusive opportunities for talent selected into the (DE-FI) Incubator. A key part of our mission is to provide a consistent space for Business to Business, Business to Customer, and Customer to Business referrals and more to nourish relationships that form naturally. Our House helps to foster and create meaningful relationships among our members because member introductions and one on one meetings offer unique opportunities to share who we are and how we can benefit one another.
Our House is designed to provide an open, honest and transparent look into the world of fashion in a combined 14,737 sqft space located inside of the Dayton Mall, 2700 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd in suite 360, 368, and 370. It is an educational, business, event, co-working and makers space that also consist of offices for you to rent, a photography and design space, a micro-manufacturing and production area, and serves as retail and business hub providing an environment for you to get serious about your craft, grow your skills, and build your team.
At the House of (DE-FI)ance, you will:
Our goals are simple:
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Are you looking for a fun and creative opportunity for your kids to learn and thrive this summer? A Generation of (DE-FI)ance Camp is the perfect opportunity for your child to explore creativity, self expression, and business all while tackling project management, learning to sew, creating a fashion line, and producing their own #FashionExperience. Registration is open and financial support is available.